Joesy Whales, Co-Founder of GG Strains, Dies at 66

The co-creator of the Original Glue (GG4) cannabis variety passed away May 6.

May 12, 2020

Photo courtesy of GG Strains
GG Strains co-founders Joesy Whales (left) and Lone Watty (right)

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 12 to reflect comments from GG Strains Director of Operations & Marketing and Cultivator Liaison Catherine Franklin.

Don Peabody, also known as Joesy Whales, the co-founder of Nevada-based GG Strains and co-creator of the Original Glue (GG4) cannabis variety, passed away May 6 at the age of 66.

“GG Strains has lost a legend this week, and the world has lost an amazing man,” the company announced in an Instagram post.

Peabody co-founded GG Strains with the late Ross Johnson (aka Lone Watty), and the pair co-created the Original Glue cannabis variety (formally known as GG4), which rose to popularity after taking first place in the 2015 World Cannabis Cup.

The cultivar was also the focus of a now infamous trademark infringement lawsuit.

“Joesy popped a seed that has contributed to the transformation of the cannabis community in the last decade,” the company wrote on Instagram. “Joesy is known … as The Godfather/Co-Creator of ‘The Original Glue GG4 (fka Gorilla Glue 4).’ Those of us who were fortunate enough to know him personally, professionally, and [had] the privilege to work with Joesy have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.”

Catherine Franklin, GG Strains's director of operations and marketing and cultivator liaison, said Peabody wanted to be known for "making good medicine and amazing genetics," and he brought on a new breeder, 10 Bears, who will continue the work Peabody and Johnson started. GG Strains plans to honor its founders' legacies through the company’s cultivars and ongoing collaborations with breeders.

"His legacy is going to live through so many more strains, so many more genetics, because the Glue is such a staple plant in this industry," Franklin told Cannabis Business Times.

A celebration of Peabody’s life will be planned once Nevada lifts some of its COVID-19-related restrictions, she added.

Peabody is survived by his wife, Angela, and two children, as well as his lasting impact on the cannabis industry.

"That’s our ultimate goal, to build something that will keep carrying on and that will make our kids proud and our grandkids proud and our fans proud," Franklin said. "It’s kind of neat to know that you’ve been able to make your mark and touch so many different people."